State of the Game - 2018

Silk
Immortal of Dread, Fate & Shadows
Posts: 169
Joined: Thu Aug 08, 2013 1:51 am
Temple: Dread & Shadows

State of the Game - 2018

Post by Silk »

With the start of 2018 comes another chance for us to provide our community with information on our thoughts and plans for the coming year. As with all annual statements, we are planning this strategy with the knowledge that timelines and ideas may shift throughout the year.

We will be focusing our content changes over the next year on a few main aspects of the game.

1. Guilds: Already changes in how elections occur and the expectations of Patrons have been modified; we are also looking at completing a process for Charter changes for the guild officers. The Barbarians and Rangers are going through changes in the first part of 2018; with changes also planned for the Rogues, Warriors, Knights, Monks, and Brotherhood. This does not mean that other guilds will not also be reviewed; but the above guilds already have concepts for the changes that have been reviewed and approved.

2. Cities: This has been a core aspect of roleplay for the past 20 years and we want to make these a relevant and important part of the game again. This will require assistance from our players, but we believe that we can make progress here without too many complex content changes.

3. Crafting: The mixture system has remained the same since the inception of the game; and we feel that it is time to make some changes in this space. Over the next few months a new crafting system that is complete with new skills and abilities. We will be looking at every aspect of crafting and how weapons and armor are forged. We will be spending a lot of time with some staff and players on the current systems as we build the new system out. The first group to experience this change will be the Barbarians as their existing item structure is entirely revamped with the help of Satyana and Servius.

4. Resources: We will be adding real resources to areas for people to gather and use for questing, bounties, and crafting. This includes Forestry, Mining, and Fishing as new skills that will exist to obtain the items. As these are introduced more details will be shared. However, the Forestry skill should be one of the first skills added and will be needed to gather resources for crafting wooden weapons for the Barbarians' Guild.

As we introduce new features or replace existing features we want to figure out how to roleplay these into the game. This may be in the large storyline or it may be in a smaller roleplay string. These will be determined as they come up to see how they will best fit into the game. Many of these new features are to bring us into a more modern place in the overall gaming world. Some of these new features are close to be implemented and others may be towards the end of the year or beyond.

Our primary goal in the coming year is to ensure that we have a roleplay storyline that our community can get involved in. We do not want to dictate all aspects of the storyline, but have agreed on a main foundation and would love to see where it goes with our community driving it forward. There are things that we do not want this storyline to be about, but we do want players to be able to really interact and change the path of the story as they make choices. We can say that we are not planning this storyline to be about someone joining our staffing team as a Hero or Immortal. Could that somehow be wrapped into the story? Yes. But it is not the driving force behind it. The key with this initiative will be to enpower our players to drive this roleplay storyline as we look at longer term roleplay stories across the year and beyond. This is a new strategy that we are taking with roleplay stories.

To help drive roleplay without staff we are looking at a way to empower a few players with additional abilities. These would be similar to GMs in their guilds with abilities to manipulate rooms, items, monsters, and global emotes. All of these players are chosen by our Operations team only and will be vetted for a long period before being trusted. These people will NOT have the ability to manipulate another player or see anything about a character or account.

One of the most common questions to our Operations team remains about staffing. We are not actively recruiting for our team, however we do look at recommendations, returns, and requests. We are always willing to listen and talk to someone that is serious; however we need people to understand that if the response is a "no" it may be about our needs at the time. Being a member of our team is not a "promotion"; it is a position that is entirely different than being a player. Once you are staff you are no longer a player of the game and are a volunteer member of our company. This goes for people looking to be net-new staff as well as past staff looking to return. Even if a past staff person wants to return we may frequently offer a chance to return as a player and then to take it from there.

In 2017 we spent time working on new areas such as Gallowhaven (years in the making) and smaller areas just for simple exploration. We have found these to be an amazing success and want to continue with this in 2018. There are four massive content projects that have been approved; we hope for at least part of one of them to be implemented this year. This is part of our larger strategy to deploy meaningful content that will be engaging for our community. We will continue to review smaller areas and revamp them where we see value to the game as we move forward also. This will include some of the smaller forests, starter areas, and areas related to guilds and cities.

In 2017 we spent a long time discussing what we wanted for the future of weapons, armor, and monsters. We know that people are unhappy with damage and understand that many of our systems are considered out-dated compared to other games. To help us go to the next level we have started to review how we can make our core systems more dynamic (like how shops respond to times of the day) so that we can do more with them. We will be working on making our Monsters "smarter" while also ensuring that they are not overpowered. We will be redoing all Monsters and Weapons to ensure that magic ratings and base defensive stats are where they should be. At the same time we are reviewing affects like "Stun" and how spells impact our Monster interactions. These changes will begin in the early part of the year and may be slowly implemented over the next two-three years.

We have been engaged about the idea of "content pay per play" and are actively discussing what this could mean to us. We see many other games have offerings that include packages that can be purchased to have different access or perks. Historically this is not something we have entertained; but we are reviewing what a gameworld for us would look like if we did add this offering to our overall service delivery. If anything in this way is offered we would communicate with our community about the details.

Work on a HTML5 webclient is progressing with a first launch in the near future. This will allow the game to be easily access on mobile devices.

We do want to spend some time on advertizing once we fully implement our crafting system. More details on this will come as we are ready to get to that point. What we will do is try to provide more frequent communication on where we are to our people. These will come from our general Operations team of Sysop, Code, Raislin, or Silk via the Message Boards, Website, and Facebook. There may be opportunity to have in-game discussions; but understand that answers to some questions are covered under our NDA and cannot be answered or need to be reviewed by the larger team first.

The most important thing is to thank our loyal community for remaining with us. We are looking for ways to shore up our strategy and to push for net-new players to join our world. There is nothing like new players adding life to our world and taking it to a new place. So we are building our world for both the old and the new. I would personally like to thank everyone for a great 2017 and look forward to us all being together in an even better 2018.

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